Ethical reputation rated higher than salary in company branding

Robert Half research has found being perceived as an ethical company ranks higher than being perceived as a company that pays high salaries.

  • 92% of New Zealand employers recognise the importance of their company’s reputation when attracting and retaining talent. 
  • The top elements in New Zealand organisations’ employer branding strategy are ethics and values (66%), work-life balance (52%), innovation (41%) and a competitive/high salary (40%). 

The vast majority of New Zealand companies understand the importance of employer branding in a competitive business environment, and yet there are stark differences into what the core elements are of companies’ reputation according to New Zealand’s HR managers. Being perceived as an ethical company (66%) ranks higher than being perceived as a company that pays high salaries (40%), according to independent research commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half.

The research found the overwhelming majority (92%) of New Zealand hiring managers believe company branding is crucial in their strategy to not only attract high-calibre workers, but also to retain their existing staff. 

Megan Alexander, General Manager at Robert Half New Zealand said: “Company branding is an essential component of any organisation’s corporate strategy, and goes beyond just logos. It not only promotes the company’s reputation to all stakeholders, but is also a key part of the strategy in attracting and hiring the best professionals. Companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Coca Cola are prime examples of the successes companies can reap in terms of staff acquisition and retention.” 

“Corporate branding can significantly influence a jobseeker’s perception about whether or not the company is the right fit for them. It is therefore essential that companies have a well-defined employer branding strategy in place to attract high-calibre professionals, and also to retain their top-performing staff.”

When asked what companies consider the top three elements in their organisation's current employer branding strategy, two in three (66%) employers refer to their organisation’s ethics and values. This is ahead of promoting work-life balance (52%), promoting an innovative culture (41%), paying a competitive salary (40%), and promoting career advancement (31%).

“If a company is known for their purpose and values and showcases an ongoing commitment to those values, and hire in accordance with them, then they will only attract the best talent. People want to fit in and identify with their organisation’s company culture, which makes them more likely to develop good working relationships with their employer, be more productive and more likely to stay loyal to their company,” concluded Megan Alexander.  


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm, surveying 100 New Zealand HR managers. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]